/Alternate Sports Programming

Leveling Up: Understanding eSports & Their Marketing Potential for Sports Bars

On paper, the concept may seem absurd. Who wants to watch somebody else play video games? Is there really a market of third siblings forced to spectate while their older siblings take turns with Mario and Luigi out there? To ask those questions in the first place is to fundamentally misunderstand the appeal of eSports. Nobody questions why millions of people tune into the NFL every Sunday afternoon or shell out hundreds of dollars for baseball tickets. The concepts of professional eSports and major league athletics are not as different as you might think. Sure, the gladiator aesthetic and the barbarism is virtually non-existent -- or is it existent, virtually? -- but at the end of the day, in both events, you have spectators observing someone else playing a game. There are flamboyant personalities, tense drama-inducing moments, and fanbases cheering [...]

4 Alternative TV Content & Entertainment Options for Sports Bars & Restaurants

The search for content has always been a thorny task for sports bars and restaurant operators. By content we mean any activity, programming or engagement you deliver to your guests while they visit your restaurant. Most operators have the programming part on lock down, but how do they do when it comes to alternative forms of content? Most of the operators served by The Daily Rail and SportsTV Guide pretty much leave it at that. However, we believe not having a plan for alternative content is a fatal error in any restaurant, bar and grill. Whether you want to deliver custom messages to your guests through digital signage like CHIVE TV or provide obscure games that only streaming sports can deliver, understanding alternate content can be a real difference maker for your business. To address the aforementioned dearth of knowledge, [...]

How Sports Bars Can Win the Tour de France

The Tour de France is one of my favorite events of the year. Full disclosure, I ride 100+ miles a week during the summer and think this sport is amazing. However, that shouldn’t distract from the fact that it’s a cool event that fills in content in July, which could otherwise be a pretty barren month. The trick is how to market for it…or if you even should. So, let’s explore the event and see if we can benefit from it. Tour de France 101 To start, the Tour de France (TDF) is a 23-day event with some of the most interesting visual content you’ll ever see on TV. The race ranges all over France from the countryside to the sea and everything in between. They visit both the Pyrenees in the West, and the Alps in the East for [...]

The OTT Sports Program Provider Directory

In a previous post we talked about why sports bars need to show sports programming only available on OTT services. In short: if you're looking to stand out from every other sports bar that shows what's on ESPN, Comcast, Fox, etc. then you need to look for different and interesting content that sports fans can't get anywhere else. That means OTT sports program providers. Sports bars looking to dip their feet in the OTT sports content waters have a lot of options to choose from. Depending what your bar’s specialty is might sway you one way or another, but here are some of the more mainstream players and what they provide. Amazon Prime Launched: N/A Cost: $99/annual for Amazon Prime, $8.99/month for Prime Video Amazon is a relatively new player in OTT sports but is quickly making waves. Amazon Prime subscribers [...]

Why Sports Bars Need OTT Sports Programming to be the Best

There are a lot of sports bars in the US, so sticking out as being different and the best can be pretty challenging. Most often, operators look toward doing something crazy or fancy with their beer and food menus. And often this is can create a fantastic little niche for many locations. But there are more and more bars out there with a beer list the length of War and Peace. And frankly, if you’re a tried & true sports bar, your guests are coming to your location for one reason beyond all others – to watch sports. So, it would stand to reason that you’d want to give your guests the best possible viewing experience. Be it from the best TV screens, personal audio, a fantasy sports-friendly atmosphere, etc. But sports bar operators would also be wise to create [...]

9 Ways Sports Bars Can Use Video Games as an Opportunity for Growth

The arcade-bar/video game night has seen a boom in popularity and a lot of it has to do with timing. For those of us whom grew up with video games, we are now at the age where we can appreciate a good drink at a nice bar surrounded by friends. This is where the two melds together perfectly, creating the arcade-bar, the restaurant industry’s latest trend. The theory within the bar arcade or video game nights is simple: People have something fun to do while eating and drinking. Games are fun and will  transfer into people staying longer and spending more. And if it’s just fun enough, your guests will come back week after week and then boom! Successful game night. Video games and board games can blend seamlessly through different sections of your bar. Think stations. People can find [...]

What Does a New Professional Football League Mean to Sports Bars?

By now you’ve likely heard. There are two new professional football leagues vying for the opening left by the NFL’s most recent woes. Just a few years ago an alternate league would have been unthinkable, but the NFL has seen ratings drops while the player protests, and the head injury issues erode their stranglehold on all things football in the US. Enter Chuck Ebersol and Vince McMahon. Ebersol is the son of former NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol, who was a partner of Vince McMahon in the failed XFL experiment from 1999. Fast forward almost 20 years and it appears the landscape has changed -- even if the central players have not. While all these machinations are fascinating, what does The Alliance of American Football (AAF) mean to sports bar’s operations and marketing efforts? Below are three potential advantages from [...]

5 Alternative Sports TV Content Sports Bars Should Show

Football. Basketball. Baseball. Hockey. Soccer. Every sports bar worth its salt shows these games. Your loyal patrons and irregular guests expect you to be showing these sports on the regular every day and night of the week. So how do you stand out? You could give your guests a superior guest experience through technology or your atmosphere. That’s something we’ve harped on a ton in the past couple of years. Another way is to show alternative or “off-beat” sports programming on some of your TVs. This does a few things: It positions you as the sports expert in your neighborhood. Opens up your venue to a whole new group of fans & potentially regular clients. Opens your traditional guests into new sports they might love (and then come back to watch). Shows that you really care about sports entertainment and [...]

By |2017-10-26T10:32:42+00:00October 26th, 2017|Alternate Sports Programming, Online Sports|0 Comments

Yahoo, The NFL, and You!

The first streaming game of the NFL season is this Sunday at 9:30am ET/6:30am PT and we, at The Rail, couldn’t be more excited. Why? Because that means we can debut our first entry onto our Streaming Tab on the SportsTV Guide dashboard. Yes, streaming again! We know you guys don’t really care about streaming sports or even want to invest the few minutes to assess where it fits with your overall sports programming, but it’s coming and there is nothing any of us can do about it. This game between the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars is exclusively on Yahoo.com for anyone outside of these two demographic markets. If you are in or around Baltimore/Jacksonville you will get the game on your local CBS affiliate and it will be listed on your guide. However, if you are anywhere else, [...]

By |2017-09-22T12:05:22+00:00September 22nd, 2017|Alternate Sports Programming, Sports TV News|0 Comments

English Premier League Offers Games Stream Only

Putting a Little English (Premier LG) on Steaming Sports Why it matters to you: This is the first major sports league to offer 2nd tier games on stream only. For the past several years, many of you have enjoyed a great value from the English Premier League Extra Time programming. These weekly games changed the position of EPL in our business and many of you have a healthy traffic built around that content. Unfortunately, that is about to change. This week’s EPL kick offs will not be available to you on DIRECTV. NBC holds the contract and has decided to monetize the second tier games that don’t make their national broadcast channels via a streaming-only approach. This means that you will only see games on NBC Sports Network and the flagship NBC network chain. Otherwise, games that aren’t available on [...]

By |2017-08-23T10:43:57+00:00August 7th, 2017|Alternate Sports Programming, Online Sports|0 Comments

Why Sports Bars Need to Start Live Streaming Video

By Rob Cressy, Founder, Cress Media Houston, we have a problem. Consumers and Facebook love when brands post native videos (including live streaming), but there are very few, if any, sports bars or restaurants that make this part of their ongoing content creation and social media marketing mix. Lucky for you, I want to help you solve this problem, and I’m going to do so in a fun and engaging way. Let’s start with the nuts & bolts Facebook ranks live-streaming videos higher in the news feed, and users spend 3x more time watching live broadcasts than traditional videos on the platform. A recent study also showed native videos have an 186% higher engagement rate, and are shared 1000% more than videos linked to from other hosting sites like Youtube and Vimeo. What does this mean for you? Creating videos as part of your social media [...]

This week in eSports… ESL turns to Facebook Live

eSports now worth almost $900 million eSports is a young, booming and wealthy industry. According to SuperData Research, eSports is worth $892 million currently and expected to break $1 billion sometime next year. SuperData also expects viewership to increase from 214 million to 202 million by 2019. eSports turns to Facebook Live Digiday had an interesting post on how ESL One Cologne, the world's biggest eSports promoter, used Facebook Live. Their recent tournament in Germany had 42,000 live attenders and drew 21.7 million unique viewers online. ESL used Facebook Live to interview top players and video game personalities, visit partner booths, etc. It was great use of showing additional content and behind-the-scenes look for folks who couldn't be there themselves. “With Facebook Live, we are creating this ‘B-stream’ exclusively for the platform,” said Johannes Schiefer, director of global social and editorial for ESL. “There, [...]